Airwheel ride-on suitcase lets your luggage lug you around
When running through an airport, your luggage becomes a liability dragging along behind you. A new ride-on suitcase called the Airwheel, currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, can let your luggage lug you around for a change.
Companies like Trunki have been making ride-on suitcases for kids for years, and later dabbled in adapting them for adults too. And the appeal of the idea is hard to deny – who wouldn’t want to glide to their terminal atop their luggage, rather than trying to drag it while you’re running?
The Airwheel is designed to fulfill that fantasy, sporting an electric motor, rechargable battery and a steering rig the company likens to motorbike handlebars. The accelerator and brake take the form of buttons on the grip, and the 4-in (10-cm) wheels are apparently shock-absorbing and tough enough to handle bumps and scrapes. The outer frame is made of an aluminum alloy that can support riders weighing up to 130 kg (286 lb).
At max speed the case can get up to 10 km/h (6.2 mph), and the battery will last one hour at that speed. The company says that not only is this faster than other ride-on suitcases, but the more upright sitting position is more comfortable and natural than the hunched-over posture of others.
If you need to go farther, the battery can be swapped out easily. Or if you’ve got the juice to spare, you can use it like a portable power bank to charge phones or other devices through the two USB ports.
As for how well it works as luggage, the Airwheel has a 28-liter capacity, a net weight of 7.5 kg (16.5 lb) including the battery, and a form that’s compact enough to be stuffed in an overhead compartment. The company also says it’s TSA, FAA and IATA compliant, with a three-digit combination lock.
For a touch of customization, the Airwheel connects to an app which lets users set up colors and patterns of lights. There’s also a search mode to help you find it on a luggage carousel.
That said, making the case transparent is a bit of a weird design choice. If you’re already drawing attention to yourself, the last thing you’d want is to air your dirty laundry – literally – for the whole airport to see.
The Airwheel has already surpassed its goal on Kickstarter, with 44 days remaining on the campaign. Pledges start at US$459, and if all goes to plan shipping should begin in Februayr 2023.
Check out the Airwheel in the video below.